Author: scrooloose

I've been a gamer since a young age, my first experiences were with my old Atari 2600. Nowadays I'm mostly a PC guy but I also play board games when I have the group for it. And I love wrenching on cars besides.

Darksiders Warmastered Edition: Coming [Not Quite as] Soon – Update

Update

Alright so I guess I'm late to the party here but after much anticipation of the Warmastered Edition's release date tomorrow (the 25th of October) it turns out there's been a delay.

According to THQ Nordic, they'll be pushing back the release until November 29th for PC and November 22nd for console. Unfortunately there were no reasons given for the push back but it looks like we'll have to wait another month to jump back into War's Story.

My original article can still be read below, and you can bet that I'm still excited for this one.


Original Article Oct. 13th

You guys know I really like Darksiders from my review of Darksiders 2: Dethinitive Edition that I did did a few months back right? Well, not terribly long ago Nordic Games also announced the remaster of the original Darksiders called the Darksiders: Warmastered Edition, and it's live on October 25th.

I'll certainly be picking this one up. Darksiders was a killer title when it came out and it was one of the first games I got when I built my PC back in 2011. I'm really excited for this one especially if it's anywhere near as good as the last remaster Nordic did for the series.

The Warmastered Edition will be available for PS4 and Xbox One, boasting 1080p at 60 fps. There will also be a Wii U version that will be capped at 30 fps. For those of us who flex our PC muscles, we'll get up to 4k resolution and lots of additional video and control options. All versions of the game will be treated to improved textures and post processing as well as better shadows etc. There won't be any new content but it should still be vastly improved over the original Darksiders, and that's ok with me -I'm very important.

We'll get all the improvements and badassery one would expect from a current gen remaster for the so good price of $20. I can't wait to see how it is and write extensively about it in one of my all too long reviews that I occasionally bore you all with. Of course the rumor mill is still churning with speculation that these remasters are in fact a test for the audience reception of a possible Darksiders 3. One can only hope.

I Re-played Bulletstorm from 2011: A Review From Scroo

Recently we did a play through of Alan Wake for Twinstiq Game Club and after it was over I had an itch for a good fast paced shooter. I had played Doom not too long ago and as good as it was, I didn't want to start that over again quite yet. I Considered Rage: It was fun and it had some cool elements even if it was hampered by poor texture resolution and lots of pop-ins. Then I saw a rumor going around that there was likely going to be a remaster of Bulletstorm in 2017. "That could be fun" I thought "I haven't played it since it was new". And guess what? It holds up pretty well. Be forewarned that this article contains some bad language... because it's about Bulletstorm. Read more

Twinstiq Game Club Plays: Mark of the Ninja

What's up everyone? Welcome to another Twinstiq Game Club, I'm Scrooloose and this week we'll be playing my pick: Mark of the Ninja. title_2_to_1

This is an action adventure, stealth title where the player is put into the role of a ninja that has been thrust into a conflict of ancient tradition and modern day technology. Mark of the Ninja focuses on patience, stealth and deliberate action to complete the challenges it presents players with.

All in all this title has about 10 hours of play time to enjoy with some puzzle solving, player character development, and lots of ways to complete its many levels. This is a really great, fun to play 2d side scroller adventure game that will test your thumbs abilities to press buttons in a timely fashion. I enjoyed the crap out of it myself and I hope you'll all join us in playing so you can experience this one for yourselves.

  • I recommend playing with a controller, but honestly mouse and keyboard works just fine.
  • We're only playing through level 5, The Fall of the Hessian Tower.
  • This will be the standard version of the game (Not the special edition)
  • Mark of the Ninja is $15 on Steam and GoG. It's also available for Xbox 360.

System requirements for Mark of the Ninja are as follows:

Windows

MINIMUM:

    • OS:Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1
    • Processor:AMD Phenom 9750 or Pentium D 800+
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA® GeForce® 7800 GT or ATI Radeon™ HD 3000+ or better
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:2.5 GB HD space
    • Sound:100% DirectX9.0c compatible sound card and drivers

RECOMMENDED:

    • OS:Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1
    • Processor:Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA® 9600GT or ATI Radeon™ HD 5000+ or better
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:2.5 GB HD space
    • Sound:100% DirectX9.0c compatible sound card and drivers

Mac

MINIMUM :

    • OS: OS X 10.7 Lion or later
    • Processor: 2.4 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Hard Drive:2.5 GB HD space
    • Video Card: 512 MB VRAM, NVIDIA® GeForce® 7800 GT or ATI Radeon™ HD 3000+ or better

SteamOS / Linux

MINIMUM :

    • Processor: 2.4 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Hard Drive:2.5 GB HD space
    • Video Card: 512 MB VRAM, NVIDIA® GeForce® 7800 GT or ATI Radeon™ HD 3000+ or better

NonStiq: Just Who is This Nightwatch Guy Anyway?

Alright so the first thing you've got to know about me is that I'm not a real big graphic novel fan. I have an old collection of comics from my younger days and every now and again I'll pick one or two up if they look interesting, but I hardly ever read them. In fact, the only comic book hero I was every really into was Image Comics, Spawn. I have lots of issues of that particular character and I read all of them at one time or another.

So I'm going to throw down some exposition real quick. Spawn came about in 1992. I bought the first issue for the same reason I buy any comic: it had a cool cover. I read that book and I was intrigued. Back in the early 90's Marvel and Image shared a lot of writers and artists and I believe they did so for quite a while. Lots of cross overs took place with various comic companies. spawn-batmanOne of those artists and creators was Todd McFarlane, his mind was the one from which Spawn was sprung. Okay? Good.war-devil

Flash forward to 2016 where I got an invite to head on up to my Sister and future Brother-in-law [Twinstiq's own Cody Hall] 's  place for a small-ish nerd conference that looked like it could be fun times. While there Cody and I went through some of the many comic bins that lined the booths and searched for something interesting. I found some cool stuff by the old standby of "cool cover, pick it up" that I've used when purchasing many times before. One of those happened to be an issue of Spider Man called Web of Spider Man, issue number 100 from May of 1993. wos_100

Here's where all this babbling on about this and that gets interesting. I was flipping through this Spider Man comic with a cool shiny green cover featuring Spidey in a suit of armor when I saw this effing guy right here! nightwatch

"Hang on" I said "This guy looks pretty familiar, like Spawn actually. A lot like Spawn." My Sister happens to also be a Spawn fan and I shot her a text and picture of this guy that Marvel calls Nightwatch. She replies to me "That guy is a copycat." [Turns out he's not exactly but we'll get there in a minute]

From there we were both wildly intrigued by the obvious similarities of these two characters and made it our business to find out just who this Nightwatch guy is. Luckily for me I had this issue of Spider Man and at the end is the origin story of Nightwatch. Convenient yes?

So here's what we know about him:nightwatchcompare

  1. His name is Kevin Trench and he witnessed his future self being killed by terrorists hijacking a plane. He takes the black and red Nightwatch Suit from his own lifeless body.
  2. The Nightwatch Suit, is composed of nanites capable of fixing [almost] any damage to itself and its wearer. The cloak is prehensile, can be used as a separate limb and change forms.
  3. He's African American.
  4. He seems to be stuck in a time loop and sort of destined to meet himself at the moment of his own death.
  5. Came about in 1993

Compare those details with those of Spawn:spawn-1

  1. His name is Al Simmons
  2. He was killed by a mercenary, sent to hell and brought back with very few memories.
  3. He has a red and black, living suit that can heal itself, shape-shift, and protect its wearer.
  4. He's African American
  5. Came about in 1992

So aside from names and few minute details the origins are very similar. One important fact is that they both died. Certainly they look alike: The extra tall high standing collars, the excessively large cloak, even some of the markings and colors.

Powers as well: They can both self-heal. Their suits are both powerful extensions of their bodies able to protect their wearers at all times. They're both physically more powerful than normal humans. Either of them can fade into the shadows and remain hidden as well as perform some pretty similar shape shifting.

There are definitely enough character details to separate the two from being one and the same, but I [and my Sister] had to wonder... Is this a character that Todd McFarlane made before leaving Marvel completely? Did he base Spawn off his initial designs of Nightwatch and Marvel just happened to use his original character later?

The answer is no. Nightwatch was created by Terry Kavanagh and Alex Saviuk and his appearance was later changed so as not to resemble Spawn so closely. His introduction as Nightwatch happened in Web of Spider Man number 99. Costumes of the two characters still shared similar abilities, even if they were explained a bit differently.

Spawn's suit is a living being; symbiotic and endowed with a host of nearly limitless dark powers from hell, including: speed, flight, healing, attack, defense etc. It'll even keep Spawn safe while he's unconscious. While Nightwatch's suit is all about nano-technology allowing for various healing, pain suppression, air filtration and vision enhancement powers. The suit is also capable of creating darkness in a limited area, gliding, and forming into sharpened tentacles. They may sound a bit different, but they can both do more or less the same stuff.

Nightwatch had his own short run series and appeared in various issues of Spider Man, and She Hulk. He was eventually killed off in a heroic way while saving an innocent in a battle called "The Great Game".

So to me, these two still have a bit too much in common to be mere coincidence. Spawn came first but only by a few months and who's to say what transpired? Perhaps someone was watching someone else and received a moment of inspiration. Perhaps it was a little more nefarious than that. Just because one was in print first doesn't mean the idea was first in that particular someone's head, and vice-versa. We may never actually know. But even for a guy who only has a passing interest in graphic novels this was something that made me very curious. I kind of hope to run across Nightwatch again some time.

And by the way while I was doing research for this article I happened to notice that I'm not the only one who ever posed the questions at hand here. I would recommend a quick Google search if you're interested in knowing more.

 

Twinstiq Game Club Plays: Hammerfight

Welcome back to the Twinstiq Game Club where the first rule of Game Club is to always talk about Game Club. I'm Scrooloose and this week we rolled for my nomination and the crew will be playing: Hammerfight.

This is a 2D physics based title set in a fantasy world where the player takes the role of a "rider", an operator of a flying machine who happens to belong to a long line of warriors in a tribe called the Gaiar. Various sects and tribes inhabit the world of floating islands and eventually the player is captured by a rival and forced into slavery. Hammerfight's story is linear and fairly short at only around four hours but there are several modes that will unlock during your play through to increase your play time.

Flying Machines and Weapons

Players will use a flying machine that can mount various melee weapons to use in combat ranging from a simple stone mace on a chain to swords, axes and even whip chains. All controls are made using your mouse, so make sure your DPI is as high as it can be since the faster you sweep your mouse the harder your machine will swing that weapon.hammerfight

As you play you'll gain currency to allow the purchase of new weapons and armor that can be combined to make a pretty imposing flying machine. You'll will also earn glory which will evolve the look of the craft and gain player titles.

Hammerfight does have multiplayer via multiple mouse support on a single screen. I've never tried it since it honestly sounds pretty inconvenient but it's available.

Story

The story itself is actually pretty nice if a bit predictable and literally translated, but it'll feel complete when all is said and done. As I mentioned above the story mode will take about four hours if everything goes smooth for you. Stages are very short but often times very challenging, expect to die over and over. As you play you'll unlock an Arena mode where you can battle multiple NPCs as long as you like earning money and glory. You'll also unlock the Hall mode. This is where you'll purchase and practice with them, once purchased they're always available in the hall should you wish to try different combinations. There's also a Hammerball mode. A sort of sport where the player uses a hammer to bat a ball back and forth on the screen against NPCs for a score and lots of money.

If You Plan To Join Us

Alright guys that's what we're playing this time around and we hope you'll join us. I'll list some items below explaining our agenda and what to expect.

  • We'll be playing through up to chapter 3 in the first week. Then finishing the game the next week.
  • Try lots of weapon combinations. There are a surprising amount of ways to combine different weapon types and various armors. You're sure to find one that fits your play style.
  • Hammerfight is fun but don't expect AAA polish. For the most part this game will play smoothly on any machine. Make sure your mouse DPI is as high as it can get to make your experience better. The screen will get pretty chaotic and make it difficult to track your character amidst the action, this can be frustrating. The game menu will help calibrate your mouse but is otherwise very limited.
  • Pick it up from Steam HERE. Hammerfight is not available from GoG.
  • Finally, enjoy your play through and keep an eye out for updates on the Twinstiq Game Club via You Tube and right here on the Twinstiq website itself.

System Specs For Hammerfight Are As Follows:

Windows:

  • OS: Windows 98SE / ME / XP / Vista
  • Processor: Athlon / Pentium III 2 GHz
  • Memory: 256 Mb
  • Graphics: DirectX 8.0 compatible with 64 Mb VRAM
  • DirectX®: 8.0
  • Hard Drive: 150 Mb
  • Sound: DirectX 8.0 compatible

Mac:

  • OS: Mac OS X 10.5 or later
  • Processor: Intel (32 or 64 bit)
  • Memory: 256 Mb
  • Graphics: Any GPU supported by Mac OS X
  • Hard Drive: 150 Mb
  • Sound: Any hardware supported by Mac OS X

SteamOS Linux:

  • OS: Compatible with Ubuntu 11.04
  • Processor: x86 or amd64 2GHz
  • Memory: 256 Mb
  • Graphics: Any reasonable GPU supported
  • Hard Drive: 150 Mb
  • Sound: Any reasonable hardware supported

What Were You Playing 20 Years Ago?

Lately I've been seeing a lot articles on the good ol' interwebs about certain iconic PC titles that will be turning 20 this year. That got me thinking: I've been a gamer for a pretty long time now. What was I playing some 20 years back? What were some of the other guys from Twinstiq playing then? So I'm going to talk briefly about a couple of titles that really cemented me into the PC gamer category, And we'll hear from a few of the crew about what they had going on from that era as well. Join me in my and a few of the crew's ramblings below. Read more

Doom Gets Vulkan Support Today

The 160MB patch rolled out at today 10:00am eastern time in U.S. and as long as your hardware supports it you'll likely be seeing some significant improvements in your game play. Vulkan is an API that allows for more interactions by developers "at a lower level". Meaning better optimization for games that support Vulkan and in turn passing those benefits to users.

Folks with hardware more towards the lower end of the spectrum will probably see the most improvement since they'll be able to turn up their graphics settings a bit higher now. Make sure you update to your latest graphics drivers from AMD or Nvidia to have things ready for Vulkan support. When you fire up Doom you'll be prompted to play in OpenGL or Vulkan and you'll be able to switch back and forth if you notice issues arising. The game will restart with every switch, but that's better than crashes and the like should it be happening.

I'll go ahead and paste the full notes directly below from Steam news page:

Vulkan support is now live for DOOM on PC. Below are some frequently asked questions, along with links to download the most recent drivers. Please also note that Steam controller support has also been included in this patch, so we've included some FAQs relating to it below as well.

FAQ

What is Vulkan?
Vulkan is a revolutionary graphics and compute API technology developed by the Khronos Group that allows game developers to interact with graphics hardware at a lower level, allowing for more efficient use of hardware, improving game performance.

On DOOM, Vulkan allows PC users to experience significant performance boosts on supported GPUs and CPUs, translating directly to better gameplay feel.

Most users on the minimum spec end of hardware will experience better performance at higher video settings. Users whose have recommended or above specs will experience exceptional performance with DOOM’s advanced video settings cranked up to full effect.

We’ll continue to work with AMD, NVIDIA and the Khronos Group to unlock the Vulkan API’s full potential through idTech 6, giving DOOM PC players a gameplay experience unlike anything else. Stay tuned for more updates.
For additional information on the Vulkan API, please visit the following links.

https://www.khronos.org/vulkan/

AMD: https://community.amd.com/community/gaming/blog/2016/07/11/radeon-graphics-takes-doom-to-the-next-level-with-vulkan-implementation

How do I get the Vulkan API?
DOOM Vulkan support will be enabled via a patch that goes live on Steam at 10:00am ET on Monday, July 11th, 2016. Vulkan will not run properly without updating to the latest unified drivers from AMD and NVIDIA for supported GPUs.

For more information on drivers, see the article below:
http://help.bethesda.net/app/answers/detail/a_id/33712/~/what-video-card-driver-versions-should-i-install-to-play-doom%3F

How do I get DOOM to run on the Vulkan API?
When launching DOOM from Steam, you’ll be prompted with a new menu to choose either OpenGL or Vulkan. To play with Vulkan, select the second menu option. You can also switch between OpenGL and Vulkan in game via the Advanced Settings options menu. The game will restart whenever you switch between OpenGL and Vulkan.

Does my graphics card support Vulkan?
If your graphics card meets the DOOM minimum requirements, it likely supports* Vulkan, but you’ll need the correct version of your GPU drivers in order to take advantage.

*Vulkan is not currently supported on NVIDIA GPUs with 2 GB of RAM on Windows 7 or on the GTX 690. Users with these GPUs need to run DOOM on the OpenGL graphics API.

For more information on drivers, see the article below:
http://help.bethesda.net/app/answers/detail/a_id/33712/~/what-video-card-driver-versions-should-i-install-to-play-doom%3F

Does Vulkan support change DOOM’s minimum PC specs?
The minimum PC specs for DOOM remain the same.

Does DOOM automatically have uncapped framerate when running on Vulkan?
To enable uncapped framerate, Vertical Sync needs to be disabled via the in-game (Video Settings) options.

Does DOOM support asynchronous compute when running on the Vulkan API?
Asynchronous compute is a feature that provides additional performance gains on top of the baseline id Tech 6 Vulkan feature set.
Currently asynchronous compute is only supported on AMD GPUs and requires DOOM Vulkan supported drivers to run. We are working with NVIDIA to enable asynchronous compute in Vulkan on NVIDIA GPUs. We hope to have an update soon.
Click here for additional information on asynchronous compute.

How do I enable the Steam controller when playing DOOM?
Once DOOM is loaded, the title will automatically detect the presence of the Steam controller and adapt controls and button prompts to match. No additional configuration is needed to use the default controller profile.

KNOWN ISSUES

DOOM crashes as soon as the game starts when running Vulkan on the NVIDIA GTX 690.
The NVIDIA GTX 690 is not currently supported to run Vulkan on DOOM. Users with this GPU will need to run the game on OpenGL .

DOOM crashes, is stuck on a black screen at launch or exhibits severe graphical corruption on supported NVIDIA GPUs that have 2GB VRAM when running Vulkan on Windows 7.
Vulkan is not currently supported on NVIDIA GPUs with 2 GB of RAM on Windows 7. Users with these GPUs need to run DOOM on the OpenGL graphics AP

Performance may suddenly decrease when entering Object Mode in the SnapMap editor while running the Vulkan API.
If this issue occurs, exiting Object mode back to Blueprint mode, before going back into Object Mode may correct the issue. If the problem persists, we recommend you run the SnapMap editor on OpenGL (you’ll still be able to play your maps on Vulkan).

While running the Vulkan API, DOOM crashes when taking a screenshot using the Steam overlay on AMD GPUs.
This is a known issue with Vulkan API and AMD GPUs.

The game may crash on some AMD GPUs when locking the computer.
This is a known issue while running DOOM on the Vulkan API.

While running the Vulkan API on an NVIDIA GTX 970, strange black checkering or primarily black screens appear after changing resolution or display mode settings.
Graphical corruption may occur after resizing the game window while in windowed mode, and then switching the display mode from windowed to full screen. If this occurs, restarting the game application should correct the issue.

Launching SnapMap may take longer on the Vulkan API.
It may take longer for some users to launch SnapMap on Vulkan than it does on OpenGL.

Some AI pathing issues may exhibit on SnapMaps while running the Vulkan API.
We are currently investigating a fix for this to include in an upcoming patch.

Windows 10 users running OpenGL or Vulkan on the AMD R9 Fury X znd R9 390X at 1080p or higher may experience framerates below 60 FPS with Vertical Sync enabled.
While we are working on a fix for this with AMD, affected users should run the game with Vertical Sync disabled.

When using the Steam controller, why can’t I rotate the automap with the right trackpad?
This is a known issue with the Steam Controller. An alternate control method can be used to rotate the map in the automap interface.

Witcher 3: Blood and Wine – Goodbye is Spectacular: A Review From Scroo

Wow guys, I've been chomping at the bit to play Blood and Wine for a long time now and my goodness was it ever worth the wait. CDPRed has put a story together set in a large and beautiful world that gives us fans a pretty solid 30 hours of game play; and they call it an expansion. This, folks, is what expansions should be. An actual fully built, big addition with new content that really matters. Blood and Wine could have just as easily been sold as a stand-alone title and would have been just as satisfying to play. All the props to CDPRed. Read more